It’s hard to believe the years have passed so quickly. This weekend was Homecoming at Furman, and my 25th Reunion. There seems to be a core group of my classmates that attend these reunions. This wasn’t really the group I hung out with while at Furman, and my friends have been spread out over several years, so we have tended to do our own thing at various Homecoming reunions.
Since this was a biggie, though, Laura and I decided to do the entire thing, and had tickets for a cookout Friday night, breakfast Saturday morning, a luncheon, then a reunion dinner in the evening. My friend Dwight was coming up Friday to spend the night with us and join in the activities. In addition to our 25th reunion, this year marks 50 years that Furman has been located on its present campus. There was much to celebrate, and lots of events planned.
Friday night was a cookout at the Younts Conference Center. About 25 of my classmates showed up, most of whom are in this core group which I mentioned before. Still, we greeted each other warmly, and had a good time chatting before heading out to the mall to watch the float-building and carnival.
Saturday morning Dwight and I got up early and headed to the Alumni Awards Banquet. The invitations has said that we could come in attire for the game, so I wore my Furman purple and blue jeans. I was horribly under-dressed. Most of the men were in suits. To make matters worse, the Class of ’83 were asked to stand and be recognized. Dwight, myself, and one other person were the only ones to stand. It went from worse to “worser” as I was asked to come to the front along with other Furman Singers alumni to lead the group in a singing of “Brown Eyes.” Oh well. It was still a good breakfast, even if the ceremonial part ran a bit long.
After the breakfast I wanted to catch some of the departmental drop-ins. Even though I see these folks on a regular basis, I thought I should at least drop by in my alumni status. First was WPLS, where they were celebrating 30 years of broadcasting. Even though they have computerized much of the operations, the same old mixing board was in use. Dwight even found records with his handwriting from when he was station manager. We didn’t attempt to commandeer the station, as we have in years past.
From WPLS I stopped by the Education Department, then the Music Department, and finally wound up in Chemistry to meet Laura. We headed from there to a luncheon on the lawn of Cherrydale with my reunion class.
The game itself was forgettable, with Furman just barely hanging onto a slim lead over Western Carolina. There were the usual half-time ceremonies, with Homecoming Queens, and now Homecoming Kings. Most of the Spirit Week competitions and now split between fraternities and sororities, which now dominate life at Furman.
After the game we began to ponder our reunion dinner at Rio Grille. Flashes of just about ever cliche’ reunion movie or TV show ran through our minds as we debated what to wear. Fresh on my mind was my clothing faux pas at the breakfast. Finally, I decided that it didn’t matter one whit, and that I was just going to dress nicely, but enjoy myself. People would just have to put up with me for who I am.
The dinner at Rio Grille was fantastic. It was good touching base with my classmates. There was a bit of snobbery, but those engaging in such came off more as idiots than those of us who tried to engage people around us, even if we didn’t hang out with them 25 years ago. It was fun.
After the dinner we walked down to Fluor Field where the general Homecoming parties were being held. Normally, Furman blocks off Main Street in front of the Hyatt for their parties. However, this year was Fall for Greenville, so we were relegated to the West End. Parking was terrible, and it was a bit confusing to figure out where to go, but we found it. The confusion meant that this wasn’t as well-attended as other homecoming event. We listened to the band, then decided that we had quite enough Furman reminiscence. It was time to go home.